Nürburgring 24 Hour Race 2012 (2/2)
Part 2 Qualifying
On May 17, the first qualifying session began at 7:30 pm. Tobias Schulze of Team GT Academy took to the course first and recorded a time of 9 minutes 7.782 seconds on his first timed lap. Though his three driving teammates all had a go during qualifying, none beat this time, and the team secured 50th place overall.
The following day (May 18), the second qualifying session began at 9:35 a.m. Team GT Academy had prioritized setup and was not going to aggressively go for lap times. But with excellent conditions, rivals started to click off quicker lap times. Assessing the situation, Tobias made an attempt to improve the team’s showing after getting fresh brake discs. With only 9 minutes left in qualifying, he managed to squeeze out a time of 8 minutes, 6.94 seconds. You can see the incredible lap driven by Tobias here:
Part 3 Final Race: First Half
Saturday, May 19: The event saw 235,000 spectators—a record crowd—gather around the course to watch the 40th 24 Hours Nürburgring. Just like the previous years, the four German works teams of Porsche, BMW, Audi, and Mercedes were vying for glory on their home turf, while Aston Martin, Chevrolet Corvette, and the new McLaren MP4-12C GT3 were intent on spoiling their party. BMW withdrew the M3 that competed in the E1XP2 Class, replacing it with a Z4 GT3 for the SP9 Class. Japanese entries included the Lexus LFA (SP8), Impreza (SP3T) and Toyota 86 (SP3), all ready to go all out to reach the finish line first after 24 hours. These images show highlights of the race focusing on Team GT Academy, from the beginning of the race week to halfway through the Final Race.
Part 4 Final Race: 2nd Half
At 4:00 pm on May 20, the race ends amidst a chorus of cheers from the 235,000 excited spectators. Team GT Academy achieved an excellent 30th place out of 174 cars, and a well-earned SP8T class victory.
The overall win went to the Audi R8 LMS Ultra number 3 car, due to several of the lead cars dropping out. Japanese cars also showed incredible performance this year, with the Lexus LFA (Car 83), Impreza (Car 133) and Toyota 86 (Car 166) all winning their classes, the SP8, SP3T, and SP3, respectively. See the excitement in the latter half of the final race for yourself: